Spring 2018 Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies Newsletter

In this issue:



10th Anniversary

The Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies degree program was approved on July 11, 2008, by the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees at their meeting on the Behrend campus celebrating the 60th anniversary of Behrend. Both IBE and PSB have come a long way since then. Our tenth anniversary will be celebrated in July. Over 200 IBE graduates will be in the workforce as of the eighth graduating class.

Points to note:

  • Projects measured by Net Present Value
  • Twelve IBE projects presented at Fasenmyer 2018 (NPV >$221M excluding largest project)
  • Eleven IBE projects presented at Fasenmyer 2017 (NPV >$19M excluding largest project)

Kudos to students for all of their hard work. You make the School of Engineering and the Black School of Business proud!

Updates/changes within the IBE Major:

There are no changes in the major at present. There will be new modules promoted early in the academic year. Watch for information!

General Information

We have added IB 303 Introduction to International Business. It provides a solid baseline to international business and includes management, marketing, economics, trade theory, and logistics. It is an IL course. Our new faculty member in international business, Dr. Chris Harben, assistant teaching professor of management, is teaching the course from an experiential perspective. It is a good foundation no matter what your major is.

EVERYONE who is in the IBE major or is pre-IBE should have an individual advising spreadsheet prepared before the fall. Please contact Dr. Diane Parente at [email protected] to prepare your spreadsheet. Please communicate with her initially by email over the summer.


—Dr. Diane Parente
Samuel A. and Elizabeth B. Breene Professor of Business

Student Spotlight

Nick McKee

Nick McKee ’19

Nick is from Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and South Fayette High School. He is a varsity soccer player and team captain with a dual major in IBE and Project and Supply Chain Management. Nick is a junior with an expected graduation of May 2019.

Where did you begin your internship search?

I began my internship search at the Penn State Behrend Career Fair.

How did you get an internship position with Bentley Systems?

I acquired my position by giving the companies I was interested in my resume and then completed interviews with the companies that offered me one.

What did you do in your internship with Bentley Systems?

I was in charge of software testing to ensure there were no defects in the InspectTech Program.

What is your ideal future career?

My ideal future career is one on the business side of a technical/engineering company that is focused in sales.

What advice do you have for students currently looking for an internship position?

My advice would be a few different things. First, I would advise them to work hard to earn a good GPA because that's the first thing that companies look at when comparing candidates. I also would tell them to use their Penn State resources to help with creating their resume so it's perfect and separates you from the hundreds of resumes they receive. Finally, I would go to as many different club and networking events because getting an internship opportunity can come from any of the events and clubs on campus.

Alumni Spotlight

Duncan Park

Duncan Park ’18

Duncan is from Dubois, Pennsylvania. He is a dual major in IBE and Project and Supply Chain Management. He graduated this semester.

How did you begin your job search?

I began my job search by simply asking my peers and professors if they knew of any valuable working opportunities. Networking and connecting is the one of the best ways to create opportunities for one’s career.

How did you acquire the position at Erie Insurance?

I acquired my position by doing what I had previously said, networking. I had begun communicating with my peers to learn of opportunities, and thankfully I was provided with a great adviser, Dr. Diane Parente, who had forwarded me an email about an internship information session. I had attended the session, established a good connection with the recruiters, and talked to them about my majors, my experience, and my excitement to gain more skills to better myself. They had then given me the website link to fill out an online application. The firm called me back a few weeks later to discuss when I would be free for an interview. After the interview, I was offered an internship position for the summer, and I knew this was my opportunity to prove myself. The talent in this IT division is rich, but with the wide array of business and engineering knowledge I have been taught, I was able to provide value back to the company. I provided enough value that they saw it fit to bring me on board full-time as an IT analyst after I graduate. Only a few interns are selected from this internship process, and I was grateful to be one of them. I now work part-time as an intern in the morning until I finish my degree in May.

What is your future position? Who is it for? What will you be doing?

My future position is an IT analyst for Erie Insurance. As I was brought on as an intern in Erie Insurance’s Future Focus program and the program continues for interns who were hired. Hired interns become apprentices after graduation, and I will begin to do four six-month rotations throughout different divisions of the company to see where I fit best and where I can learn new skills to improve.

How did IBE help you or prepare you to get the job? Which module(s), minors, or double majors do you have?

This IBE major has given me a competitive advantage by exposing me to so many valuable skills and so much valuable business knowledge. In combination with the Project and Supply Chain Management major, IBE has given me a huge range of business techniques and methods that are perfectly supplemented with engineering knowledge that is necessary in this IT field.

What advice do you have for students currently looking for a position?

Some advice for students: There are several things I can correlate to my success thus far. Have the willingness to work, not be satisfied with average work and learn like you will live forever. If you want to be extraordinary, you have to put in that “extra.” This may be my career but building it will take cooperation from the teams and people I work with; be cooperative, be fair, yet do not be pushed over. Having confidence, a positive attitude and an uplifting mindset can not only do wonders for yourself but others around you. Most of all, failure is not the end, it’s the very beginning. One of most impactful quotes I have heard, and I still think about today, came from my physics teacher in high school, Fr. Walk. He said to me one day in class, “Isn’t it funny how life and school are backwards? In school, you learn a lesson and take test; in life, you take a test and learn a lesson.” Quotes and faith are great things to study if one is looking for inspiration and direction. But whatever you do, don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

Faculty Spotlight

Yohannes Haile

Yohannes Haile, Ph.D.

My educational background includes a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, M.Sc. in Energy Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, and an M.B.A. from Bowling Green State University. I hold a Ph.D. in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems from Case Western Reserve University, in addition to innovation management training through Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute.

I teach both management and engineering classes with dual appointments in the Black School of Business and the School of Engineering. With educational background and work experiences in business and engineering, I am greatly enjoying my teaching engagements. I surmise the integration of business and engineering educations enriches one’s learning experiences, enhances creativity, and innovation intent. That is why I pursued the opportunity to teach at Behrend. Behrend has great faculty, students, and staff as well as a beautiful campus.